Life Of Marius
I. I cannot mention any third name of Caius Marius, any more than of Quintus Sertorius, who held Spain, or of Lucius Mummius, who took Corinth; for the name Achaicus was given to Mummius in commemoration of this event, just as the name Africanus was given to Scipio, and Macedonicus to Metellus. This seems to Poseidonius to be the strongest refutation of the opinion of those who suppose that the third name was the proper individual name among the Romans, such as Camillus, and Marcellus, and Cato; for he argues, if this were so, those who had only the two names would be really without a name. But Poseidonius does not perceive that by this argument he on his side makes the women to be without names: for no woman ever has the first of the three names, which first, however, Poseidonius supposes to be the name which marked individuals among the Romans; and of the other two names, he supposes the one to be common and to belong to all of one kin, such as the Pompeii and the Manlii and the Cornelii, just as the Greeks might speak of the Herakleidae and the Pelopidae; but the other name he supposes to be an appellation given as a distinctive name, either with reference to a man's disposition or his actions, or some character and peculiarity of his person, such as Macrinus and Torquatus and Sulla, which may be compared with the Greek Mnemon or Grypus or Kallinikus. However, in such matters as these the diversity in usage allows a variety of conjectures.
II. With respect to the personal appearance of Marius, I saw a stone statue of him at Ravenna in Gaul, which was perfectly in accordance with what is said of the roughness and harshness of his character. He was naturally of a courageous and warlike turn, and had more of the discipline of the camp than of the state, and accordingly his temper was ungovernable when he was in the possession of power. It is stated that he never studied Greek literature, and never availed himself of the Greek language for any serious purpose, for he said it was ridiculous to study a literature the teachers of which were the slaves of others; and after his second triumph, when he exhibited Greek plays on the occasion of the dedication of a certain temple, though he came to the theatre, he only sat down for a moment and then went away. Xenokrates the philosopher was considered to be rather of a morose temper, and Plato was in the habit of frequently saying to him, "My good Xenokrates, sacrifice to the Graces;" in like manner, if Marius could have been persuaded to sacrifice to the Grecian Muses and Graces, he would never have brought a most illustrious military and civil career to a most unseemly conclusion; through passion and unreasonable love of power and insatiable desire of self-aggrandizement driven to terminate his course in an old age of cruelty and ferocity. Let this, however, be judged of by the facts as they will presently appear.
III. Marius was the son of obscure parents, who gained their living by the labour of their hands, and were poor. His father's name was Marius; his mother's name was Fulcinia. It was late before he saw Rome and became acquainted with the habits of the city, up to which time he lived at Cirrhaeato, a village in the territory of Arpinum, where his mode of life was rude, when contrasted with the polite and artificial fashions of a city, but temperate and in accordance with the old Roman discipline. He first served against the Celtiberians when Scipio Africanus was besieging Numantia, and he attracted the notice of his commander by his superiority in courage over all the other young soldiers, and by the readiness with which he adapted himself to the change in living which Scipio introduced among the troops, who had been corrupted by luxurious habits and extravagance. He is said also to have killed one of the enemy in single combat in the presence of the general. Accordingly Marius received from Scipio various honourable distinctions; and on one occasion, after supper, when the conversation was about generals, and one of the company, either because he really felt a difficulty or merely wished to flatter Scipio, asked him where the Roman people would find such another leader and protector when he was gone, Scipio with his hand gently touched the shoulder of Marius, who was reclining next to him, and said, "Perhaps here." So full of promise was the youth of Marius, and so discerning was the judgment of Scipio.
IV. Now it is said that Marius, mainly encouraged by these words, which he viewed as a divine intimation, entered on a political career, and obtained the tribuneship, in which he was assisted by Caecilius Metellus, of whose house the family of Marius had long been an adherent. During his tribuneship Marius proposed a law on the mode of voting, which apparently tended to deprive the nobles of their power in the Judicia: the measure was opposed by Cotta, the consul, who persuaded the Senate to resist the proposed law, and to summon Marius to account for his conduct. The decree proposed by Cotta was drawn up, and Marius appeared before the Senate; but so far from being disconcerted, as a young man might naturally be, who without any advantages had just stepped into public life, he already assumed the tone which his subsequent exploits authorized, and threatened to carry off Cotta to prison if he did not rescind the decree. Upon Cotta turning to Metellus and asking his opinion, Metellus arose and supported the consul; but Marius, sending for the officer who was outside of the house, ordered him to carry off Metellus himself to prison. Metellus appealed to the rest of the tribunes without effect, and the Senate yielded and abandoned the decree. Marius now triumphantly came before the popular assembly and got his law ratified, having proved himself to be a man unassailable by fear, not to be diverted from his purpose by any motive of personal respect, and a formidable opponent to the Senate by his measures which were adapted to win the public favour. But he soon gave people reason to change their opinion; for he most resolutely opposed a measure for the distribution of corn among the citizens, and succeeding in his opposition, he established himself in equal credit with both parties, as a man who would do nothing to please either, if it were contrary to the public interest.
V. After the tribuneship he was a candidate for the greater aedileship. Now there are two classes of aedileships: one, which derives its name (curule) from the seats with curved feet on which the aediles sit when they discharge their functions; the other, the inferior, is called the plebeian aedileship. When they have chosen the higher aediles, they then take the vote again for the election of the others. Now as Marius was manifestly losing in the votes for the curule aedileship, he forthwith changed about and became a candidate for the other aedileship. But this was viewed as an audacious and arrogant attempt, and he failed in his election; but though he thus met with two repulses in one day, which never happened to any man before, he did not abate one tittle of his pretensions, for no long time after he was a candidate for a praetorship, in which he narrowly missed a failure, being the last of all who were declared to be elected, and he was prosecuted for bribery. What gave rise to most suspicion was the fact that a slave of Cassius Sabaco was seen within the septa mingled with the voters; for Sabaco was one of the most intimate friends of Marius. Accordingly Sabaco was cited before the judices; he explained the circumstance by saying that the heat had made him very thirsty, and he called for a cup of cold water, which his slave brought to him within the septa, and left it as soon as he had drunk the water. Sabaco was ejected from the Senate by the next censors, and people were of opinion that he deserved it, either because he had given false testimony or for his intemperance. Caius Herennius also was summoned as a witness against Marius, but he declared that it was contrary to established usage to give testimony against a client and that patrons (for this is the name that the Romans give to protectors) were legally excused from this duty, and that the parents of Marius, and Marius himself, originally were clients of his house. Though the judices accepted the excuse as valid, Marius himself contradicted Herennius, and maintained that for the moment when he was declared to be elected to a magistracy, he became divested of the relation of client; which was not exactly true, for it is not every magistracy which releases a man who has obtained it, and his family, from the necessity of having a patron, but only those magistracies to which the law assigns the curule seat. However, on the first days of the trial it went hard with Marius, and the judices were strongly against him; yet on the last day, contrary to all expectation, he was acquitted, the votes being equal.
VI. During his praetorship Marius got only a moderate degree of credit. But on the expiration of his office he obtained by lot the further province of Iberia (Spain), and it is said that during his command he cleared all the robber establishments out of his government, which was still an uncivilised country in its habits and in a savage state, as the Iberians had not yet ceased to consider robbery as no dishonourable occupation. Though Marius had now embarked in a public career, he had neither wealth nor eloquence, by means of which those who then held the chief power were used to manage the people. But the resoluteness of his character, and his enduring perseverance in toil, and his plain manner of living, got him the popular favour, and he increased in estimation and influence, so as to form a matrimonial alliance with the illustrious house of the Caesars, with Julia, whose nephew Caesar afterwards became the greatest of the Romans and in some degree imitated his relation Marius, as I have told in the Life of Caesar. There is evidence both of the temperance of Marius and also of his endurance, which was proved by his behaviour about a surgical operation. Both his legs, it is said, had become varicose, and as he disliked this deformity, he resolved to put himself in the surgeon's hands. Accordingly he presented to the surgeon one of his legs without allowing himself to be bound; and without making a single movement or uttering a single groan, with steady countenance and in silence he endured excessive pain during the operation. But when the surgeon was going to take the other leg, Marius refused to present it, saying that he perceived the cure was not worth the pain.
VII. When Caecilius Metellus was appointed consul with the command of the war against Jugurtha, he took Marius with him to Libya in the capacity of legatus. Here Marius signalised himself by great exploits and brilliant success in battle, but he did not, like the rest, seek to increase the glory of Metellus and to direct all his efforts for the advantage of his general, but disdaining to be called a legatus of Metellus, and considering that fortune had offered him a most favourable opportunity and a wide theatre for action, he displayed his courage on every occasion. Though the war was accompanied with many hardships, he shrunk not from danger however great, and he thought nothing too mean to be neglected, but in prudent measures and careful foresight he surpassed all the officers of his own rank, and he vied with the soldiers in hard living and endurance, and thus gained their affections. For certainly there is nothing which reconciles a man so readily to toil as to see another voluntarily sharing it with him, for thus the compulsion seems to be taken away; and the most agreeable sight to a Roman soldier is to see his general in his presence eating common bread or sleeping on a coarse mat, or taking a hand in any trench-work and fortification. Soldiers do not so much admire a general who shares with them the honour and the spoil, as one who participates in their toils and dangers; and they love a general who will take a part in their labours more than one who indulges their licence. By such conduct as this, and by gaining the affection of the soldiers, Marius soon filled Libya and Rome with his fame and his glory, for the soldiers wrote to their friends at home and told them there would be no end to the war with the barbarian, no deliverance from it, if they did not elect Marius consul.
VIII. These proceedings evidently caused great annoyance to Metellus; but the affair of Turpillius vexed him most of all. The family of Turpillius for several generations had been connected with that of Metellus by friendly relations, and Turpillius was then serving in the army at the head of a body of engineers. It happened that he was commissioned to take charge of Vaga, which was a large city. Trusting for his security to the forbearance with which he treated the inhabitants, and his kind and friendly intercourse with them, he was thrown off his guard and fell into the hands of his enemies, who admitted Jugurtha into the city. Turpillius, however, was not injured, and the citizens obtained his release and sent him away. He was accordingly charged with treason, and Marius, who was present at the trial as an assessor, was violent against him and excited most of the rest, so that Metellus was unwillingly compelled to pronounce sentence of death against the man. Shortly after it appeared that the charge was false, and everybody except Marius sympathised with Metellus, who was grieved at what had taken place; but Marius exultingly claimed the merit of the condemnation, and was shameless enough to go about saying that he had fixed on Metellus a daemon which would avenge the death of the man whom it was his duty to protect. This brought Metellus and Marius to open enmity; and it is reported that on one occasion when Marius was present, Metellus said in an insulting way, "You, forsooth, my good fellow, intend to leave us and make the voyage to Rome, to offer yourself for the consulship; and you won't be content to be the colleague of this son of mine." Now the son of Metellus was at that time a very young man. Marius however was still importunate to obtain leave of absence; and Metellus, after devising various pretexts for delay, at last allowed him to go, when there were only twelve days left before the consuls would be declared. Marius accomplished the long journey from the camp to Utica, on the coast, in two days and one night, and offered sacrifice before he set sail. It is said that the priest told him that the deity gave prognostications of success beyond all measure and all expectation, and accordingly Marius set sail with high hopes. In four days he crossed the sea with a favourable wind, and was most joyfully received by the people, and being introduced to the popular assembly by one of the tribunes, he began by violent abuse of Metellus, and ended with asking for the consulship and promising that he would either kill Jugurtha or take him alive.
IX. Being declared consul by a great majority, he immediately set about levying soldiers in a way contrary to law and usage, by enrolling a great number of the poorer sort and of slaves, though former generals had never admitted men of this kind into the army, but had given arms, as they would anything else that was a badge of honour, only to those who had the due qualification, inasmuch as every soldier was thus considered to pledge his property to the State. It was not this however which made Marius most odious, but his insolent and arrogant expressions, which gave offence to the nobles, for he publicly said that he considered his acquisition of the consulship a trophy gained over the effeminacy of the noble and the rich, and that what he could proudly show to the people was his own wounds, not the monuments of the dead or the likenesses of others. And he would often speak of the generals who had been defeated in Libya, mentioning by name Bestia and Albinus, men of illustrious descent indeed, but unskilled in military matters, and for want of experience unsuccessful; and he would ask his hearers whether they did not think that the ancestors of Bestia and Albinus would rather have left descendants like himself, for they also had gained an honourable fame; not by noble birth, but by their virtues and their illustrious deeds. This was not said as a mere empty boast, nor simply because he wished to make himself odious to the nobles; but the people, who were delighted to hear the Senate abused, and always measured the greatness of a man's designs by the bigness of his words, encouraged him and urged him on not to spare the nobles if he wished to please the many.
X. When Marius had crossed over to Libya, Metellus, giving way to his jealousy, and vexed to see the crown and the triumph, when he had already completed the war and it only remained to seize the person of Jugurtha, taken from him by another, a man too who had raised himself to power by ingratitude to his benefactor, would not stay to meet Marius, but privately left the country, and Rutilius, one of his legati, gave up the army to the new consul. But at last retribution for his conduct overtook Marius; for he was deprived of the glory of his victories by Sulla, just in the same way as he had deprived Metellus of his credit: and how this happened I will state briefly, since the particular circumstances are told more at length in the Life of Sulla. Bocchus, who was king of the barbarians in the interior, and the father-in-law of Jugurtha, showed no great disposition to help him in his wars, because of the faithlessness of Jugurtha, and also because he feared the increase of his power. But when Jugurtha, who was now a fugitive from place to place, made Bocchus his last resource and took refuge with him, Bocchus received his son-in-law more from a regard to decency, as he was a suppliant, than from any goodwill, and kept him in his hands; and while he openly interceded with Marius on behalf of Jugurtha, and wrote to say that he would not surrender him and assumed a high tone, he secretly entertained treacherous designs against Jugurtha, and sent for Lucius Sulla, who was the Quaestor of Marius, and had done some service to Bocchus during the campaign. Sulla confidently went to Bocchus, but the barbarian, who had changed his intentions and repented of his design, for several days wavered in his plan, hesitating whether he should deliver up Jugurtha or keep Sulla a prisoner: at last, however, he determined to carry into effect his original design, and surrendered Jugurtha into the hands of Sulla. Thus was sown the seed of that irreconcilable and violent animosity between Marius and Sulla which nearly destroyed Rome: many claimed the credit of this transaction for Sulla on account of their dislike of Marius, and Sulla himself had a seal-ring made, which he used to on which there was a representation of the surrender of Jugurtha by Bocchus. By constantly wearing this ring Sulla irritated Marius, who was an ambitious and quarrelsome man, and could endure no partner in his glory. But the enemies of Marius gave Sulla most encouragement by attributing to Metellus the credit of the first and best part of the war, and that of the latter part and the conclusion to Sulla, their object being to lower Marius in public estimation and to withdraw the people from their exclusive attachment to him.
XI. But this envy and hatred and these calumnies against Marius were dissipated and removed by the danger which threatened Italy from the west, as soon as the State saw that she needed a great commander and had to look about for a pilot whose skill should save her from such a torrent of foes; for no one would allow any of the men of noble birth or wealthy families to offer themselves at the Comitia, and Marius, in his absence from Rome, was declared consul. It happened that the Romans had just received intelligence of the capture of Jugurtha when the reports about the Cimbri and Teutones surprised them, and though the rumours as to the numbers and strength of the invaders were at first disbelieved, it afterwards appeared that they fell short of the truth. Three hundred thousand armed fighting men were advancing, bringing with them a much larger number of women and children, in quest of land to support so mighty a multitude and of cities to dwell in, after the example of the Celtae before them, who took the best part of Italy from the Tyrrheni and kept it. As these invaders had no intercourse with other nations, and had traversed an extensive tract of country, it could not be ascertained who they were or where they issued from to descend upon Gaul and Italy like a cloud. The most probable conjecture was that they were Germanic nations belonging to those who extended as far as the northern ocean; and this opinion was founded on their great stature, their blue eyes, and on the fact that the Germans designate robbers by the name of Cimbri. Others thought that Celtica extended in a wide and extensive tract from the external sea and the subarctic regions to the rising sun and the Lake Maeotis, where it bordered on Pontic Scythia; and it was from this region, as they supposed, where the tribes are mingled, that these invaders came, and that they did not advance in one expedition nor yet uninterruptedly, but that every spring they moved forwards, fighting their way, till in the course of time they traversed the whole continent. Accordingly while the barbarians had several names according to their respective tribes, they designated the whole body by the name of Celtoscythians. But others say that the Cimmerians, with whom the ancient Greeks were first acquainted, were no large portion of the whole nation, but merely a tribe or faction that was driven out by the Scythians and passed into Asia from the Lake Maeotis, under the command of Lygdamis: they further say that the chief part of the Scythian nation and the most warlike part lived at the very verge of the continent, on the coast of the external sea, in a tract shaded, woody, and totally sunless, owing to the extent and closeness of the forests, which reach into the interior as far as the Hercynii; and with respect to the heavens, their position was in that region where the poletion owing to the inclination of the parallels, appears to be only a short distance from the spectator's zenith, and the days and nights are of equal length and share the year between them, which furnished Homer with the occasion for his story of Ulysses visiting the ghosts. From these parts then some supposed that these barbarians came against Italy, who were originally Cimmerii, but then not inappropriately called Cimbri. But all this is rather founded on conjecture than on sure historical evidence. As to the numbers of the invaders, they are stated by many authorities as above rather than below the amount that has been mentioned. But their courage and daring made them irresistible, and in battle they rushed forward with the rapidity and violence of fire, so that no nations could stand their attack, but all the people that came in their way became their prey and booty, and many powerful Roman armies with their commanders, which were stationed to protect Gaul north of the Alps, perished ingloriously; and indeed these armies by their unsuccessful resistance mainly contributed to direct the course of the enemy against Rome. For when they had defeated those who opposed them and got abundance of booty, they determined not to settle themselves permanently anywhere till they had destroyed Rome and ravaged Italy.
XII. Hearing this news from many quarters, the Romans called Marius to the command; and he was elected consul the second time, though it was contrary to a positive law for a man in his absence, and without a certain interval of time, to be elected again, but the people would not listen to those who made any opposition to the election. For they considered that this would not be the first time that the law had given way to convenience, and that the present was as good an occasion for such an irregularity as the election of Scipio as consul at a time when they were under no apprehension about the ruin of Rome, but merely wished to destroy Carthage. Accordingly these reasons prevailed, and Marius, after crossing the sea with his army to Rome, received the consulship, and celebrated his triumph on the calends of January, which with the Romans is the beginning of the year, and exhibited to them a sight they never expected to see, Jugurtha in chains; for no one had ever ventured to hope that the Romans could conquer their enemies while he was alive; so dexterous was Jugurtha in turning all events to the best advantage, and so much courage did he combine with great cunning. But it is said that being led in the triumph made him lose his senses. After the triumph he was thrown into prison, and while some were tearing his clothes from his body, others who were anxious to secure his golden ear-rings pulled them off and the lobe of the ear with them; in this plight being thrust down naked into a deep hole, in his frenzy, with a grinning laugh, he cried out, O Hercules, how cold your bath is! After struggling with famine for six days and to the last moment clinging to the wish to preserve his life, he paid the penalty due to his monstrous crimes. It is said that there were carried in the triumphal procession three thousand and seven pounds of gold, of silver uncoined five thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and in coined money two hundred and eighty-seven thousand drachmae. After the procession Marius assembled the Senate in the Capitol, and either through inadvertence or vulgar exultation at his good fortune he entered the place of meeting in his triumphal dress. But observing that the Senate took offence at this, he went out, and putting on the ordinary robe with the purple border, he returned to the assembly.
XIII. On his expedition to meet the Cimbri, Marius continually exercised his forces in various ways in running and in forced marches; he also compelled every man to carry all his baggage and to prepare his own food, in consequence of which men who were fond of toil, and promptly and silently did what they were ordered, were called Marian mules. Some, however, think that this name had a different origin; as follows: - When Scipio was blockading Numantia, he wished to inspect not only the arms and the horses, but also the mules and waggons, in order to see in what kind of order and condition the soldiers kept them. Marius accordingly produced his horse, which he had kept in excellent condition with his own hand, and also a mule, which for good appearance, docility, and strength far surpassed all the rest. The general was much pleased with the beasts of Marius and often spoke about them, which gave rise to the scoffing epithet of Marian mule, when the subject of commendation was a persevering, enduring, and labour-loving man.
XIV. Marius was favoured by a singular piece of good fortune; for there was a reflux in the course of the barbarians, and the torrent flowed towards Iberia before it turned to Italy, which gave Marius time to discipline the bodies of his men and to confirm their courage; and what was most of all, it gave the soldiers an opportunity of knowing what kind of a man their general was. For the first impression created by his sternness and by his inexorable severity in punishing, was changed into an opinion of the justice and utility of his discipline when they had been trained to avoid all cause of offence and all breach of order; and the violence of his temper, the harshness of his voice, and ferocious expression of his countenance, when the soldiers became familiarised with them, appeared no longer formidable to them, but only terrific to their enemies. But his strict justice in all matters that came before him for judgment pleased the soldiers most of all; and of this the following instance is mentioned, Caius Lusius, who was a nephew of Marius, and was an officer in the army, was in other respects a man of no bad character, but fond of beautiful youths. This Caius conceived a passion for one of the young men who served under him, by name Trebonius, and had often ineffectually attempted to seduce him. At last Caius one night sent a servant with orders to bring Trebonius; the young man came, for he could not refuse to obey the summons, and was introduced into the tent; but when Caius attempted to use violence towards him, he drew his sword and killed him. Marius was not present when this happened, but on his arrival he brought Trebonius to trial. There were many to join in supporting the accusation, and not one to speak in his favour, but Trebouius boldly came forward and told the whole story; and he produced witnesses who proved that he had often resisted the importunities of Lusius, and that though great offers had been made, he had never prostituted himself; on which Marius, admiring his conduct, ordered a crown to be brought, such as was conferred for noble deeds according to an old Roman fashion, and he took it and put it on the head of Trebonius as a fit reward for so noble an act at a time when good examples were much needed. The news of this, reaching Rome, contributed in no small degree to the consulship being conferred on Marius for the third time; the barbarians also were expected about the spring of the year, and the Romans did not wish to try the issue of a battle with them under any other commander. However, the barbarians did not come so soon as they were expected, and the period of the consulship of Marius again expired. As the Comitia were at hand, and his colleague had died, Marius came to Rome, leaving Manius Aquilius in the command of the army. There were many candidates of great merit for the consulship, but Lucius Saturninus, one of the tribunes, who had most influence with the people, was gained over by Marius; and in his harangues he advised them to elect Marius consul. Marius indeed affected to decline the honour, and begged to be excused; he said he did not wish for it; on which Saturninus called him a traitor to his country for refusing the command at so critical a time. Now though it was apparent that Saturninus was playing a part at the bidding of Marius, and in such a way that nobody was deceived, still the many seeing that the circumstances required a man of his energy and good fortune, voted for the fourth consulship of Marius, and gave him for colleague Catulus Lutatius, a man who was esteemed by the nobility and not disliked by the people.
XV. Marius, hearing that the enemy was near, quickly crossed the Alps, and established a fortified camp near the river Rhodanus (Rhone), which he supplied with abundance of stores, that he might not be compelled against his judgment to fight a battle for want of provisions. The conveyance of the necessary stores for the army, which hitherto was tedious and expensive on the side of the sea, he rendered easy and expeditious. The mouths of the Rhodanus, owing to the action of the waves, received a great quantity of mud and sand, mixed with large masses of clay, which were formed into banks by the force of the water, and the entrance of the river was thus made difficult and laborious and shallow for the vessels that brought supplies. As the army had nothing to do, Marius brought the soldiers here and commenced a great cut, into which he diverted a large part of the river, and, by making the new channel terminate at a convenient point on the coast, he gave it a deep outlet which had water enough for large vessels, and was smooth and safe against wind and wave. This cut still bears the name of Marius. The barbarians had now divided themselves into two bodies, and it fell to the lot of the Cimbri to march through the country of the Norici, over the high land against Catulus, and to force that passage: the Teutones and Ambrones were to march through the Ligurian country along the sea to meet Marius. Now on the part of the Cimbri there was some loss of time and delay; but the Teutones and Ambrones set out forthwith, and speedily traversing the space which separated them from the Romans, they made their appearance in numbers countless, hideous in aspect, and in language and the cries they uttered unlike any other people. They covered a large part of the plain, where they pitched their tents and challenged Marius to battle.
XVI. Marius cared not for all this, but he kept his soldiers within their entrenchments and severely rebuked those who made a display of their courage, calling such as through passion were eager to break out and fight, traitors to their country; he said it was not triumphs or trophies which should now be the object of their ambition, but how they should ward off so great a cloud and tempest of war, and secure the safety of Italy. This was the way in which he addressed the commanders in particular and the officers. The soldiers he used to station on the rampart in turns, and bid them look at the enemy, and thus he accustomed them to the aspect of the barbarians and their strange and savage shouts, and to make themselves acquainted with their armour and movements, so that in course of time what appeared formidable to their imagination would become familiar by being often seen. For it was the opinion of Marius that mere strangeness adds many imaginary dangers to real danger; but that through familiarity even real dangers lose their terrors. Now the daily sight of the enemy not only took away somewhat of the first alarm, but the threats of the barbarians and their intolerable arrogance roused the courage of the Roman soldiers and inflamed their passions, for the enemy plundered and devastated all the country around, and often attacked the ramparts with much insolence and temerity, so that the words and indignant expressions of the soldiers were repeated to Marius. The soldiers asked, "If Marius had discovered any cowardice in them, that he kept them from battle, like women under lock and key? Why should we not, like free men, ask him whether he is waiting for others to fight for Italy, and intends to employ us always as labourers when there may be occasion to dig canals, to clear out mud, and to divert the course of rivers? It was for this, as it seems, that he disciplined us in so many toils; and these are the exploits of his consulship, which he will exhibit to the citizens when he returns to Rome. Does he fear the fate of Carbo and Caepio, who were defeated by the enemy? But they were far inferior to Marius in reputation and merit, and they were at the head of much inferior armies. And it is better to do something, even if we perish like them, than to sit here and see the lands of our allies plundered."
XVII. Marius, who was pleased to hear such expressions as these, pacified the soldiers by saying that he did not distrust them, but was waiting for the time and the place of victory pursuant to certain oracles. And in fact he carried about with him in a litter, with great tokens of respect, a Syrian woman named Martha, who was said to possess the gift of divination, and he sacrificed pursuant to her directions. This woman had formerly applied to the Senate, and offered to foretell future events, but her proposal was rejected. Having got access to the women, she allowed them to make trial of her skill; and especially on one occasion, when she sat at the feet of the wife of Marius, she was successful in foretelling what gladiators would win, and this led to her being sent to Marius, who was much struck with her skill. She generally accompanied the army in a litter, and assisted at the sacrifices in a double purple robe fastened with a clasp, and carrying a spear wreathed with ribands and chaplets. This exhibition made many doubt whether Marius produced the woman in public because he really believed in her, or whether he merely pretended to do so, and played a part in the matter. But the affair of the vultures, which Alexander of Myndus has related, is certainly wonderful. Two vultures were always seen hovering about the army before a victory, and accompanying it; they were known by brass rings round their necks, for the soldiers had caught the birds, and after putting on the rings had let them go. Ever after this time as the soldiers recognised the birds, they saluted them; and whenever the birds appeared on the occasion of the army moving, the soldiers rejoiced, as they were confident of success. Though there were many signs about this time, all of them were of an ordinary kind, except what was reported from Ameria and Tuder, two towns of Italy, where at night there was the appearance in the heavens of fiery spears and shields, which at first moved about in various directions, and then closed together, exhibiting the attitudes and movements of men in battle; at last part gave way, and the rest pressed on in pursuit, and all moved away to the west. It happened that about the same time Batakes, the priest of the Great Mother, came from Pessinus,the goddess from her shrine had declared to him that victory and the advantage in war would be on the side of the Romans. The Senate accepted the announcement and voted a temple to be built to the goddess in commemoration of the anticipated victory; but when Batakes presented himself to the popular assembly with the intention of making the same report there, Aulus Pompeius, one of the tribunes, stopped him, calling him an impostor, and contumeliously driving him from the Rostra; which however contributed to gain most credit for the man's assertions. For on the separation of the assembly, Aulus had no sooner returned to his house than he was seized with so violent a fever that he died within seven days; and the matter was notorious all through Rome and the subject of much talk.
XVIII. Now Marius keeping quiet, the Teutones attempted to storm his camp, but as many of them were struck by the missiles from the rampart and some lost their lives, they resolved to march forward with the expectation of safely crossing the Alps. Accordingly taking their baggage, they passed by the Roman camp. Then indeed some notion could be formed of their numbers by the length of their line and the time which they took to march by; for it is said that they continued to move past the encampment of Marius for six days without interruption. As they passed along, they asked the Romans with a laugh, if they had any message to send to their wives, for they should soon be with them. When the barbarians had marched by and advanced some distance, Marius also broke up his camp and followed close after them, always halting near the enemy, but carefully fortifying his camp and making his position strong in front, so that he could pass the night in safety. Thus advancing, the two armies came to the Aquae Sextiae, from which a short march would bring them into the region of the Alps. Accordingly Marius prepared for battle here, and he selected a position which was strong enough, but ill-supplied with water, with a view, as it is said, of thereby exciting his soldiers to come to an engagement. However this may be, when some of them were complaining and saying they should suffer from thirst, he pointed to a stream which ran near the barbarian camp, and said they might get drink from there, but the price was blood. Why then, they replied, don't you forthwith lead us against the enemy, while our blood is still moist? Marius calmly replied, "We must first secure our camp."
XIX. The soldiers obeyed unwillingly. In the meantime the camp servants, having no water for themselves or their beasts, went down in a body to the river, some with axes and hatchets, and others taking swords and spears, together with their pitchers, resolving to have water, even if they fought for it. At first a few only of the enemy engaged with them, for the main body of the army were eating after bathing, and some were still bathing. For a spring of warm water bursts from the ground here, and the Romans surprised some of the barbarians who were enjoying themselves and making merry in this pleasant place. The shouts brought more of the barbarians to the spot, and Marius had great difficulty in checking his men any longer, as they were afraid they should lose their slaves, and the bravest part of the enemy, who had formerly defeated the Romans under Manlius and Caepio (these were the Ambrones, who were above thirty thousand in number), had sprung up and were running to their arms. Though full of food and excited and inflamed with wine, they did not advance in disorderly or frantic haste, nor utter confused shouts, but striking their arms to a certain measure, and advancing all in regular line, they often called out their name Ambrones, either to encourage one another or to terrify the Romans by this announcement. The Ligurians, who were the first of the Italic people to go down to battle with them, hearing their shouts, and understanding what they said, responded by calling out their old national name, which was the same, for the Ligurians also call themselves Ambrones when they refer to their origin. Thus the shouts were continual on both sides before they came to close quarters, and as the respective commanders joined in the shouts, and at first vied with one another which should call out loudest, the cries stimulated and roused the courage of the men. Now the Ambrones were separated by the stream, for they could not all cross and get into order of battle before the Ligurians, who advanced at a run, fell on the first ranks and began the battle; and the Romans coming up to support the Ligurians, and rushing on the barbarians from higher ground, broke their ranks and put them to flight. Most of the Ambrones were cut down in the stream, where they were crowded upon one another, and the river was filled with blood and dead bodies; and those who made their way across, not venturing to face about, were smitten by the Romans till they reached their camp and the waggons in their flight. There the women meeting them with swords and axes, with horrid furious yells, attempted to drive back both the fugitives and their pursuers, the fugitives as traitors and the pursuers as their enemies, mingling among the combatants, and with their bare hands tearing from the Romans their shields, laying hold of their swords, and enduring wounds and gashes till they fell, in spirit unvanquished. In this manner, it is said that the battle on the river was brought about rather from accident than any design on the part of the commander.
XX. After destroying many of the Ambrones, the Romans retreated and night came on; yet this great success was not followed, as is usual on such occasions, by paeans of victory, and drinking in the tents, and merriment over supper, and what is sweetest of all to men who have won a victory, gentle sleep, but the Romans spent that night of all others in fear and alarm. For their camp had neither palisade nor rampart, and there were still left many thousands of the enemy, and all night long they heard the lamentation of the Ambrones who had escaped and joined the rest of the barbarians, and it was not like the weeping and groaning of men, but a howl resembling that of wild beasts; and a bellowing mingled with threats and cries of sorrow proceeding from such mighty numbers, re-echoed from the surrounding mountains and the banks of the river. A frightful noise filled the whole plain, and the Romans were alarmed, and even Marius himself was disturbed, expecting a disorderly and confused battle in the night. However, the enemy made no attack either on that night or the following day, but they were occupied in arranging their forces and making preparations. In the meantime, as the position of the enemy was backed by sloping hills and deep ravines shaded with trees, Marius sent there Claudius Marcellus, with three thousand heavy-armed soldiers, with instructions to lie concealed in ambush, and to appear on the rear of the barbarians when the battle was begun. The rest of the army, who supped in good time and got a night's rest, he drew up at daybreak in front of the camp, and ordered the cavalry to advance into the plain. The Teutones, observing this, would not wait for the Romans to come down and fight with them on fair ground, but with all speed and in passion they took to their arms and advanced up the hill. Marius sent his officers to every part of the army, with orders to the soldiers to stand firm in their ranks till the enemy came within the reach of their spears, which they were to discharge, and then to draw their swords, and drive against the barbarians with their shields; for as the ground was unfavourable to the enemy, their blows would have no force, and their line no strength, owing to the unevenness of the surface, which would render their footing unstable and wavering. The advice which he gave to his soldiers he showed that he was the first to put in practice; for in all martial training Marius was inferior to none, and in courage he left all far behind him.
XXI. The Romans accordingly awaiting the enemy's attack, and coming to close quarters with them, checked their advance up the hill, and the barbarians, being hard pressed, gradually retreated to the plain, and while those in the van were rallying on the level ground, there was a shout and confusion in the rear. For Marcellus had not let the critical moment pass by, but when the shouts rose above the hills, bidding his men spring from their ambush at a rapid pace and with loud shouts he fell on the enemy's rear and began to cut them down. Those in the rear communicating the alarm to those in front of them, put the whole army into confusion, and after sustaining this double attack for no long time, they broke their ranks and fled. In the pursuit the Romans took prisoners and killed to the number of above one hundred thousand: they also took their tents, waggons, and property, all which, with the exception of what was pilfered, was given to Marius, by the unanimous voice of the soldiers. But though he received so magnificent a present, it was thought that he got nothing at all proportioned to his services, considering the magnitude of the danger. Some authorities do not agree with the statement as to the gift of the spoil, nor yet about the number of the slain. However, they say that the people of Massalia made fences round their vineyards with the bones, and that the soil, after the bodies had rotted and the winter rains had fallen, was so fertilised and saturated with the putrefied matter which sank down into it, that it produced a most unusual crop in the next season, and so confirmed the opinion of Archilochus that the land is fattened by human bodies. They say that extraordinary rains generally follow great battles, whether it is that some divine power purifies the ground, and drenches it with waters from heaven, or that the blood and putrefaction send up a moist and heavy vapour which condenses the atmosphere, which is lightly moved and readily changed to the greatest degree from the smallest cause.
XXII. After the battle, Marius caused to be collected the arms and spoils of the barbarians which were conspicuous for ornament, and unbroken, and suited to make a show in his triumphal procession: all the rest he piled up in a great heap, for the celebration of a splendid religious festival. The soldiers were already standing by in their armour, with chaplets on their heads, and Marius having put on the robe with the purple border, and fastened it up about him in the Roman fashion, had taken a burning torch, and holding it up to heaven with both his hands, was going to set fire to the heap, when some friends were seen riding quickly towards him, which caused a deep silence and general expectation. When the horsemen were near, they leaped down and greeted Marius with the news that he was elected consul for the fifth time, and they delivered him letters to this effect. This cause of great rejoicing being added to the celebration of the victory, the army transported with delight sent forth one universal shout, accompanied with the noise and clatter of their arms, and the officers crowned Marius afresh with a wreath of bay, on which he set fire to the heap, and completed the ceremony.
XXIII. But that power which permits no great good fortune to give a pleasure untempered and pure, and diversifies human life with a mixture of evil and of good - be it Fortune or Nemesis, or the necessary nature of things - in a few days brought to Marius intelligence about his companion in command, Catulus, involving Rome again in alarm and tempest, like a cloud which overcasts a clear and serene sky. For Catulus, whose commission was to oppose the Cimbri, determined to give up the defence of the passes of the Alps, for fear that he might weaken his force if he were obliged to divide it too much. Accordingly he forthwith descended into the plains of Italy, and placing the river Atiso (Adige) in his front, strongly fortified a position on each side of the river, to hinder the enemy from crossing it; and he also threw a bridge over the river, in order that he might be enabled to support those on the farther side, if the barbarians should make their way through the passes and attack the forts. The enemy had so much contempt for the Romans and such confidence, that, with the view rather of displaying their strength and courage than because it was necessary, they endured the snow-storms without any covering, and made their way through the snow and ice to the summits of the mountains, when, placing their broad shields under them, they slid down the slippery precipices over the huge rocks. When they had encamped near the river, and examined the ford, they began to dam up the stream, and tearing up the neighbouring hills, like the giants of old, they carried whole trees with their roots, fragments of rock, and mounds of earth into the river, and stopped its course; they also let heavy weights float down the stream, which drove against the piles that supported the bridge and shook it by the violence of the blows; all which so terrified the Romans, that most of them deserted the large encampment and took to flight. Then Catulus, like a good and perfect general, showed that he valued the reputation of his countrymen more than his own. Not being able to induce his soldiers to stand, and seeing that they were making off in alarm, he ordered the eagle to be moved, and running to those who were first in the retreat, he put himself at their head, wishing the disgrace to fall on himself and not on his country, and that the army should not appear to be flying, but to be following their general in his retreat. The barbarians attacked and took the fort on the farther side of the Atiso, though the Roman soldiers defended it with the utmost bravery and in a manner worthy of their country. Admiring their courage, the barbarians let them go on conditions which were sworn to upon the brazen bull, which was taken after the battle, and, it is said, was conveyed to the house of Catulus as the first spoils of the victory. The country being now undefended, the barbarians scoured it in every direction and laid it waste.
XXIV. After this Marius was called to Rome. On his arrival it was generally expected that he would celebrate his triumph, and the Senate had without any hesitation voted him one; but he refused it, either because he did not wish to deprive his soldiers and his companions in arms of the honour that was due to them, or because he wished to give the people confidence in the present emergency by intrusting to the Fortune of the State the glory of his first victory, with the confident hope that she would return it to him ennobled by a second. Having said what was suitable to the occasion, he set out to join Catulus, whom he encouraged, and at the same time he summoned his soldiers from Gaul. On the arrival of the troops, Marius crossed the Eridanus (Po), and endeavoured to keep the barbarians from that part of Italy which lay south of the river. The Cimbri declined a battle, because, as they said, they were waiting for the Teutones, and wondered they were so long in coming; but it is doubtful whether they were still really ignorant of their destruction or merely pretended not to believe it. However, they handled most cruelly those who brought the report of the defeat; and they sent to Marius to demand land for themselves and their brethren, and a sufficient number of cities for their abode. On Marius asking the ambassadors of the Cimbri whom they meant by their brethren, and being told they were the Teutones, all the Romans who were present burst out in a laugh, but Marius, with a sneer, replied, "Don't trouble yourself about your brethren: they have land, and they shall have it for ever, for we have given it to them." The ambassadors, who understood his irony, fell to abusing him, and threatened that the Cimbri would forthwith have their revenge, and the Teutones too, as soon as they should arrive. "They are here already," said Marius; "and it won't be right for you to go before you have embraced your brethren." Saying this he ordered the kings of the Teutones to be produced in their chains; for they were taken in the Alps in their flight by the Sequani.
XXV. On this being reported to the Cimbri, they forthwith advanced against Marius, who however kept quiet and remained in his camp. It is said that it was on the occasion of this engagement that Marius introduced the alteration in the spears. Before this time that part of the wooden shaft which was let into the iron was fastened with two iron nails; Marius kept one of the nails as it was, but he had the other taken out and a wooden peg, which would be easily broken, put in its place; the design being that the spear when it had struck the enemy's shield should not remain straight, for when the wooden nail broke, the iron head would bend, and the spear, owing to the twist in the metal part, would still hold to the shield, and so drag along the ground. Now Boeorix, the king of the Cimbri, with a very few men about him, riding up to the camp, challenged Marius to fix a day and place, and to come out and settle the claim to the country by a battle. Marius replied, that the Romans never took advice of their enemies as to fighting; however, he would gratify the Cimbri in this matter, and accordingly they agreed on the third day from the present, and the battle-field was to be the plain of Vercellae, which was suited for the Roman cavalry, and would give the Cimbri full room for their numbers. When the appointed day came, the Romans prepared for battle with the enemy. Catulus had twenty-two thousand three hundred men, and Marius thirty-two thousand, which were distributed on each flank of Catulus, who occupied the centre, as Sulla has recorded, who was in the battle. Sulla also says, that Marius expected that the line would be engaged chiefly at the extremities and on the wings, and with the view of appropriating the victory to his own soldiers, and that Catulus might have no part in the contest, and not come to close quarters with the enemy, he took advantage of the hollow front of the centre, which usually results when the line is extended, and accordingly divided and placed his forces as already stated. Some writers say that Catulus himself also made a statement to the like effect, in his apology about the battle, and accused Marius of want of good faith to him. The infantry of the Cimbri marched slowly from their fortified posts in a square, each side of which was thirty stadia: the cavalry, fifteen thousand in number, advanced in splendid style, wearing helmets which resembled in form the open mouths of frightful beasts and strange-shaped heads, surmounted by lofty crests of feathers, which made them appear taller; they had also breastplates of iron and white glittering shields. Their practice was to discharge two darts, and then closing with the enemy, to use their large heavy swords.
XXVI. On this occasion the enemy's cavalry did not advance straight against the Romans, but deviating to the right they attempted to draw the Romans little by little in that direction, with the view of attacking them when they had got them between themselves and their infantry, which was on the left. The Roman generals perceived the manoeuvre, but they could not stop their soldiers, for there was a cry from some one that the enemy was flying, and immediately the whole army rushed to the pursuit. In the meantime the barbarian infantry advanced like a huge sea in motion. Then Marius, washing his hands and raising them to heaven, vowed a hecatomb to the gods; and Catulus also in like manner raising his hands, vowed to consecrate the fortune of that day. It is said that when Marius had sacrificed and had inspected the victims, he cried out with a loud voice, "Mine is the Victory." When the attack had commenced, an incident happened to Marius which may be considered as a divine retribution, as Sulla says. An immense cloud of dust being raised, as was natural, and having covered the two armies, it happened that Marius, rushing to the pursuit with his men after him, missed the enemy, and being carried beyond their line, was for some time in the plain without knowing where he was; but it happened that the barbarians closed with Catulus, and the struggle was with him and his soldiers chiefly, among whom Sulla says that he himself fought: he adds, that the heat aided the Romans, and the sun, which shone full in the face of the Cimbri. For the barbarians were well inured to cold, having been brought up in forests, as already observed, and a cool country, but they were unnerved with the heat, which made them sweat violently and breathe hard, and put their shields before their faces, for the battle took place after the summer solstice, and, according to the Roman reckoning, three days before the new moon of the month now called Augustus, but then Sextilis. The dust also which covered their enemies helped to encourage the Romans; for they did not see their number at a distance, but running forward they engaged severally man to man with the enemy, without having been alarmed by the sight of them. And so well were the bodies of the Romans inured to toil and exertion, that not one of them was seen to sweat or pant, though the heat was excessive and they came to the shock of battle running at full speed, as Catulus is said to have reported to the honour of his soldiers.
XXVII. Now the greater part of the enemy and their best soldiers were cut to pieces in their ranks, for in order to prevent the line from being broken the soldiers of the first rank were fastened together by long chains which were passed through their belts. The fugitives were driven back to their encampments, when a most tragic scene was exhibited. The women standing on the waggons clothed in black massacred the fugitives, some their husbands, and others their brothers and fathers, and then strangling their infants they threw them under the wheels and the feet of the beasts of burden, and killed themselves. It is said that one woman hung herself from the end of the pole of a waggon with her children fastened to her feet by cords; and that the men, not finding any trees near, tied themselves to the horns of the oxen and some to their feet, and then goading the animals to make them plunge about, were dragged and trampled till they died. But though so many perished in this manner, above sixty thousand were taken prisoners, and the number of those who fell was said to be twice as many. Now all the valuable property became the booty of the soldiers of Marius, but the military spoils and standards and trumpets, it is said, were carried to the tent of Catulus; and Catulus relied chiefly on this as a proof that the victory was gained by his men. A dispute having arisen among the soldiers, as might be expected, some ambassadors from Parma who were present were chosen to act as arbitrators, and the soldiers of Catulus leading them among the dead bodies of the enemy, pointed out that the barbarians were pierced by their spears, which were recognised by the marks on them, for Catulus had taken care to have his name cut on the shafts. Notwithstanding this, the whole credit was given to Marius, both on account of the previous victory and his superior rank. And what was most of all, the people gave him the title of the third founder of Rome, considering that the danger which he had averted was not less than that of the Gallic invasion, and in their rejoicings with their wives and children at home they coupled Marius with the gods in the religious ceremonies that preceded the banquet and in their libations, and they thought that he alone ought to celebrate both triumphs. Marius, however, did not triumph alone, but Catulus shared the honour, for Marius wished to show that he was not elated by his victories: there was another reason also; he was afraid of the soldiers, who were prepared not to let Marius triumph, if Catulus were deprived of the honour.
XXVIII. Though Marius was now discharging his fifth consulship, he was more anxious to obtain a sixth than others are about the first; and he endeavoured to gain favour by courting the people and giving way to the many in order to please them, wherein he went further than was consistent with the state and dignity of the office, and further than suited his own temper, for he wished to show himself very compliant and a man of the people, when in fact his character was altogether different. Now it is said that in all civil matters and amid the noise of the popular assemblies Marius was entirely devoid of courage, which arose from his excessive love of applause; and the undaunted spirit and firmness which he showed in battle failed him before the people, where he was disconcerted by the most ordinary expressions of praise or censure. However, the following story is told of him: Marius had presented with the citizenship a thousand of the people of Camerinum, who had particularly distinguished themselves in the war; this was considered to be an illegal proceeding, and being charged with it by several persons in public, he replied that he could not hear the law for the din of arms. Still it is well known that he was discomposed and alarmed by the shouts in the popular assemblies. In military matters, it is true, he received great deference and had much influence, because his services were wanted; but in civil business he was cut off from attaining the first distinction, and accordingly there was nothing left for him but to gain the affection and favour of the many; and in order to become the first man at Rome, he sacrificed all claim to be considered the best. The consequence was, that he was at variance with all the aristocratical party, but he feared Metellus most, who had experienced his ingratitude, and, as a man of sterling worth, was the natural enemy of those who attempted to insinuate themselves into the popular favour by dishonourable means, and who had no other object than to flatter the people. Accordingly Marius formed a design to eject Metellus from the city; and for this purpose he allied himself with Glaucia and Saturninus, who were daring men, and had at their command a rabble of needy and noisy fellows, and he made them his tools in introducing his measures. He also stirred up the soldiers, and by mixing them with the people in the assemblies he overpowered Metellus with his faction. Rutilius, who is a lover of truth and an honest man, though he was a personal enemy of Marius, relates in his history, that by giving large sums of money to the tribes and buying their votes Marius kept Metellus out, and that Valerius Flaccus was rather the servant than the colleague of Marius in his sixth consulship. However, the people, never conferred the office of consul so often on any man except Corvinus Valerius; though it is said that forty-five years elapsed between the first and last consulship of Corvinus, while Marius after his first consulship enjoyed the remaining five in uninterrupted succession.
XXIX. It was in his last consulship that Marius got most odium, from his participating in many of the violent measures of Saturninus. One of them was the assassi whom Saturninus murdered because he was a rival candidate for the tribuneship. Saturninus, being made a tribune, introduced a measure about the land, to which was added a clause that the Senate should come forward and swear that they would abide by whatever the people should vote, and would make no opposition. In the Senate Marius made a show of opposing this clause in the proposed law, and he said that he would not take the oath, nor did he think that any man in his senses would, for if the law was not a bad one, it was an insult for the Senate to be compelled to make such concession, instead of giving their consent voluntarily. What he said, however, was not his real mind, but his object was to involve Metellus in a difficulty which he could not evade. For Marius, who considered falsehood to be a part of virtue and skill, had no intention to observe what he had promised to the Senate; but as he knew that Metellus was a man of his word, and considered truth, as Pindar calls it, the foundation of great virtue, he wished to entrap Metellus into a refusal before the Senate, and as he would consequently decline taking the oath, he designed in this way to make him odious to the people for ever: and it fell out so. Upon Metellus declaring that he would never take the oath, the Senate separated; but a few days after, Saturninus summoned the Senators to the Rostra, and urged them to take the oath. When Marius came forward there was profound silence, and all eyes were turned upon him to see what he would do. Marius, however, forgetting all his bold expressions before the Senate, said his neck was not broad enough for him to be the first to give his opinion on so weighty a matter all at once, and that he would take the oath and obey the law, if it was a law; which condition he cunningly added as a cloak to his shame. The people, delighted at Marius taking the oath, clapped their hands and applauded, but the nobility were much dejected and hated Marius for his tergiversation. However, all the senators took the oath in order, through fear of the people, till it came to the turn of Metellus, and though his friends urged and entreated him to take the oath and so to avoid the severe penalties which the law of Saturninus enacted against those who refused, he would not swerve from his purpose or take the oath, but adhering firmly to his principles and prepared to submit to any penalty rather than do a mean thing, he left the Forum, saying to those about him, that to do a wrong thing was mean, to act honourably when there was no danger was in any man's power, but that it was the characteristic of a good man to do what was right, even when it was accompanied with risk. Upon this Saturninus put it to the vote that the consuls should proclaim Metellus to be excluded from fire, water, and house; and the most worthless part of the populace was ready to put him to death. Now all the men of honourable feeling, sympathising with Metellus, crowded round him, but Metellus would not allow any commotion to be raised on his account, and he quitted the city like a wise and prudent man, saying, "Either matters will mend and the people will change their minds, when I shall be invited to return, or if things stay as they are, it is best to be out of the way." What testimonies of affection and respect Metellus received in his exile, and how he spent his time at Rhodes in philosophical studies, will be better told in his Life.
XXX. Now Marius did not perceive what incurable mischief he had done, for in return for the services of Saturninus he was obliged to wink at his audacious and violent measures, and to remain quiet while Saturninus was evidently aiming at the supreme power and the subversion of the constitution by force of arms and blood-shed. Between his fear of the disapprobation of the nobles and his wish to retain the favour of the people, Marius was reduced to an act of extreme meanness and duplicity. The first men in the State came to him by night and urged him to act against Saturninus, whom Marius, however, received by another door without their knowledge; and pretending to both parties that he was troubled with a looseness, he went backwards and forwards in the house between the nobles and Saturninus, running first to one and then to the other, and endeavouring to rouse and irritate them mutually. However, when the Senate and the Equites began to combine and express their indignation, he drew out the soldiers into the Forum, and driving the party of Saturninus to the Capitol, he compelled them to submit for fear of dying of thirst, by cutting off the pipes that supplied them with water. The partisans of Saturninus in despair called out to Marius and surrendered on the Public Faith, as the Romans term it. Marius did all he could to save their lives, but without effect, for as soon as they came down to the Forum they were massacred. These events made him odious both to the nobles and the people, and when the time for electing censors came, contrary to all expectation he did not offer himself as a candidate, but allowed men of inferior rank to be elected, fearing he might be rejected. He, however, alleged as an excuse, though it was not true, that he did not wish to make himself many enemies by a rigid scrutiny into their lives and morals.
XXXI A measure being proposed for recalling Metellus from exile, Marius did all he could to stop it both by word and deed, but finding his opposition useless, he at last desisted. The people received the proposed measure well, and Marius, who could not endure to see the return of Metellus, set sail for Cappadocia and Galatia, pretending that he wished to make the sacrifices he had vowed to the Great Mother, but in reality having quite a different object in view, which the people never suspected. Marius was naturally ill suited for times of peace and for taking a part in civil affairs, as he had attained his position merely by arms, and now thinking that he was gradually losing his influence and reputation by doing nothing and remaining quiet, he looked out for an opportunity of again being actively employed. He hoped to be able to stir up the kings of Asia and to rouse and stimulate Mithridates, who was supposed to be ready to go to war, in which case he expected to be appointed to take the command against him, and so to fill the city with new triumphs, and his house with Pontic spoils and the wealth of the king. Accordingly, though Mithridates paid him all attention and honour, Marius could not be bent from his purpose or induced to give way: his only answer was, "King, either try to conquer the Romans or obey their orders in silence;" an expression which startled the king, who had often heard the language of the Romans, but then for the first time heard their bold speech.
XXXII. On his return to Rome he built a house near the Forum, either, as he gave out, because he did not wish those who paid their respects to him to have the trouble of coming a great distance, or because he thought the distance was the reason why a greater number of persons did not visit his door than that of other persons. The reason, however, was not this; but as Marius was inferior to others in affability of manners and political usefulness, he was neglected, just like an instrument of war in time of peace. As for others, he cared less for their superior popularity, but he was grievously annoyed at Sulla, who had risen to power through the dislike which the nobles bore to Marius, and who made his quarrels with Marius the foundation of his political conduct. But when Bocchus, the Numidian, on receiving the title of 'Ally of the Romans,' erected in the Capitol Victories bearing trophies, and by the side of them placed gilded figures representing Jugurtha surrendered by him to Sulla, Marius was transported with passion and jealousy at Sulla thus appropriating to himself all the credit of this affair, and he was making ready forcibly to throw down the figures. Sulla prepared to oppose him, and a civil commotion was just on the point of breaking out, when it was stopped by the Social war, which suddenly burst upon the State. In this war the most warlike and populous of the Italian nations combined against Rome, and came very near to overthrowing her supremacy, for they were not only well provided with munitions of war and hardy soldiers, but they had commanders who displayed admirable courage and skill, which made them a match for the Romans.
XXXIII. This war, which was diversified by many reverses and a great variety of fortune, took from Marius as much reputation and influence as it gave to Sulla. For Marius appeared slow in his plans, and on all occasions rather over-cautious and tardy; whether it was that age had quenched his wonted vigour and fire, for he was now in his sixty-sixth year, or, as he alleged himself, his nerves were diseased and his body was incapable of supporting fatigue, and yet from a feeling of honour he endured the hardships of the campaign beyond his powers. Notwithstanding this he won a great battle, in which he slaughtered six thousand of the enemy, and he never allowed them the opportunity of getting any advantage, but when he was intrenched in his camp he submitted to be insulted by them and was never irritated by any challenge to give them battle. It is recorded that Publius Silo, who had the highest reputation and influence of any man on the side of the enemy, addressed him to this effect: "If you are a great general, Marius, come down and fight;" to which Marius replied, "Nay, do you, if you are a great general, compel me to fight against my will." And again, on another occasion when the enemy presented a favourable opportunity for attacking them, but the Romans lacked courage, and both sides retired, he summoned his soldiers together, and said, "I don't know whether to call the enemy or you greater cowards; for they could not see your back, nor you their nape." At last, however, he gave up the command, on the ground that his weakness rendered him unable to endure the fatigue of the campaign.
XXXIV. The Italians had now given in, and many persons at Rome were intriguing for the command in the Mithridatic war with the assistance of the demagogues; but, contrary to all expectation, the tribune Sulpicius,a most audacious fellow, brought forward Marius and proposed him as proconsul with power to prosecute the war against Mithridates. The people indeed were divided, some being for Marius and others in favour of Sulla; and they bade Marius go to the warm baths of Baiae and look after his health, inasmuch as he was worn out with old age and defluxions, as he admitted himself. Marius had in the neighbourhood of Misenum a sumptuous house, furnished with luxuries and accommodation too delicately for a man who had served in so many wars and campaigns. It is said that Cornelia bought this house for seventy-five thousand; and that no long time after it was purchased by Lucius Lucullus for two millions five hundred thousand; so quickly did extravagant expenditure spring up and so great was the increase of luxury. But Marius, moved thereto by boyish emulation, throwing off his old age and his infirmities, went daily to the Campus Martius, where he took his exercises with the young men, and showed that he was still active in arms and sat firm in all the movements of horsemanship, though he was not of a compact form in his old age, but very fat and heavy. Some were pleased at his being thus occupied, and they came down to the Campus to see and admire his emulation and his exercises; but the wiser part lamented to witness his greediness after gain and distinction, and they pitied a man who, having risen from poverty to enormous wealth, and to the highest station from a low degree, knew not when to put bounds to his good fortune, and was not satisfied with being an object of admiration and quietly enjoying what he had, but as if he was in want of everything, after his triumphs and his honours was setting out to Cappadocia and the Euxine to oppose himself in his old age to Archelaus and Neoptolemus, the satraps of Mithridates. The reasons which Marius alleged against all this in justification of himself appeared ridiculous; he said that he wished to serve in the campaign in order to teach his son military discipline.
XXXV. The disease that had long been rankling in the State at last broke out, when Marius had found in the audacity of Sulpicius a most suitable instrument to effect the public ruin; for Sulpicius admired and emulated Saturninus in everything, except that he charged him with timidity and want of promptitude in his measures. But there was no lack of promptitude on the part of Sulpicius, who kept six hundred of the Equestrian class about him as a kind of body-guard and called them an Opposition Senate. He also attacked with a body of armed men the consuls while they were holding a public meeting; one of the consuls made his escape from the Forum, but Sulpicius seized his son and butchered him. Sulla, the other consul, being pursued, made his escape into the house of Marius, where nobody would have expected him to go, and thus avoided his pursuers who ran past; and it is said that he was let out in safety by Marius by another door and so got to the camp. But Sulla in his Memoirs says that he did not fly for refuge to Marius, but withdrew there to consult with him about the matters which Sulpicius was attempting to make him assent to against his will by surrounding him with bare swords and driving him on towards the house of Marius, and that finally he went from the house of Marius to the Rostra, and removed, as they required him to do, the Justitium. This being accomplished, Sulpicius, who had now gained a victory, got the command conferred on Marius by the votes of the, assembly, and Marius, who was prepared to set out, sent two tribunes to receive the army of Sulla. But Sulla encouraging his soldiers, who were thirty-five thousand men well armed, led them to Rome. The soldiers fell on the tribunes whom Marius had sent, and murdered them. Marius also put to death many of the friends of Sulla in Rome, and proclaimed freedom to the slaves if they would join him; but it is said that only three slaves accepted the offer. He made but a feeble resistance to Sulla on his entering the city, and was soon compelled to fly. On quitting Rome he was separated from his partisans, owing to its being dark, and he fled to Solonium, one of his farms. He sent his son Marius to get provisions from the estates of his father-in-law Mucius, which were not far off, and himself went to Ostia, where Numerius, one of his friends, had provided a vessel for him, and without waiting for his son he set sail with his stepson Granius. The young man arrived at the estates of Mucius, but he was surprised by the approach of day while he was getting something together and packing it up, and thus did not altogether escape the vigilance of his enemies, for some cavalry came to the spot, suspecting that Marius might be there. The overseer of the farm, seeing them approach, hid Marius in a waggon loaded with beans, and yoking the oxen to it, he met the horsemen on his road to the city with the waggon. Marius was thus conveyed to the house of his wife, where he got what he wanted, and by night made his way to the sea, and embarking in a vessel bound for Libya, arrived there in safety.
XXXVI. The elder Marius was carried along the coast of Italy by a favourable wind, but as he was afraid of one Geminius, a powerful man in Terracina, and an enemy of his, he ordered the sailors to keep clear of that place. The sailors were willing to do as he wished, but the wind veering round and blowing from the sea with a great swell, they were afraid that the vessel could not stand the beating of the waves, and as Marius also was much troubled with sickness, they made for land, and with great difficulty got to the coast near Circeii. As the storm increased and they wanted provisions, they landed from the vessel and wandered about without any definite object, but as happens in cases of great difficulty, seeking merely to escape from the present evil as worst of all, and putting their hopes on the chances of fortune; for the land was their enemy, and the sea also, and they feared to fall in with men, and feared also not to fall in with men, because they were in want of provisions. After some time they met with a few herdsmen, who had nothing to give them in their need, but they recognised Marius and advised him to get out of the way as quickly as he could, for a number of horsemen had just been seen there riding about in quest of him. Thus surrounded by every difficulty and his attendants fainting for want of food, he turned from the road, and plunging into a deep forest, passed the night in great suffering. The next day, compelled by hunger and wishing to make use of his remaining strength before he was completely exhausted, he went along the shore, encouraging his followers, and entreating them not to abandon the last hope, for which he reserved himself on the faith of an old prediction. For when he was quite a youth and living in the country, he caught in his garment an eagle's nest as it was falling down, with seven young ones in it; which his parents wondering at, consulted the soothsayers, who told them that their son would become the most illustrious of men, and that it was the will of fate that he should receive the supreme command and magistracy seven times. Some affirm that this really happened to Marius; but others say that those who were with Marius at this time and in the rest of his flight heard the story from him, and believing it, recorded an event which is altogether fabulous. For an eagle has not more than two young ones at a time, and they say that Musaeus was mistaken when he wrote of the eagle thus: -
Lays three, two hatches, and one tends with care.
But that Marius frequently during his flight, and when he was in the extremest difficulties, said that he should survive to enjoy a seventh consulship, is universally admitted.
XXXVII. They were now about twenty stadia from Minturnae, an Italian city, when they saw at a distance a troop of horse riding towards them, and as it chanced two merchant vessels sailing along the coast. Running down to the sea as fast as they could and as their strength would allow, and throwing themselves into the water, they swam to the vessels. Granius having got into one of the vessels, passed over to the island of aenaria, which is off that coast. But Marius, who was heavy and unwieldy, was with difficulty held above the water by two slaves and placed in the other vessel, the horsemen being now close to them and calling from the shore to the sailors either to bring the vessel to land or to throw Marius overboard, and to set sail wherever they pleased. But as Marius entreated them with tears in his eyes, those who had the command of the vessel, after changing their minds as to what they should do as often as was possible in so short a time, at last told the horsemen that they would not surrender Marius. The horsemen rode off in anger, and the sailors again changing their minds, came to land, and casting anchor at the mouth of the Liris, which spreads out like a lake, they advised Marius to disembark and take some food on land and to rest himself from his fatigues till a wind should rise: they added, that it was the usual time for the sea-breeze to decline, and for a fresh breeze to spring up from the marshes. Marius did as they advised, and the sailors carried him out of the vessel and laid him on the grass, little expecting what was to follow. The sailors immediately embarking again and raising the anchor, sailed off as fast as they could, not thinking it honourable to surrender Marius or safe to protect him. In this situation, deserted by everybody, he lay for some time silent on the shore, and at last recovering himself with difficulty, he walked on with much pain on account of there being no path. After passing through deep swamps and ditches full of water and mud, he came to the hut of an old man who worked in the marshes, and falling down at his feet, he entreated him to save and help a man, who, if he escaped from the present dangers, would reward him beyond all his hopes. The man, who either knew Marius of old or saw something in the expression of his countenance which indicated superior rank, said that his hut was sufficient to shelter him if that was all he wanted, but if he was wandering about to avoid his enemies, he could conceal him in a place which was more retired. Upon Marius entreating him to do so, the old man took him to the marsh, and bidding him lie down in a hole near the river he covered Marius with reeds and other light things of the kind, which were well adapted to hide him without pressing too heavily.
XXXVIII. After a short time a sound and noise from the hut reached the ears of Marius. Geminius of Terracina had sent a number of men in pursuit of him, some of whom, had chanced to come there, and were terrifying the old man and rating him for having harboured and concealed an enemy of the Romans. Marius, rising from his hiding-place and stripping off his clothes, threw himself into the thick and muddy water of the marsh; and this was the cause of his not escaping the search of his pursuers, who dragged him out covered with mud, and leading him naked to Minturnae, gave him up to the magistrates. Now instructions had been already sent to every city, requiring the authorities to search for Marius, and to put him to death when he was taken. However, the magistrates thought it best to deliberate on the matter first, and in the meantime they lodged Marius in the house of a woman named Fannia,kindly disposed towards him on account of an old grudge. Fannia had a husband whose name was Tinnius, and on separating from him she claimed her portion, which was considerable. The husband charged her with adultery, and Marius, who was then in his sixth consulship, presided as judge. But on the trial it appeared that Fannia had been a loose woman, and that her husband, though he knew it, took her to wife, and lived with her a long time; accordingly, Marius being disgusted with both of them, decreed that the man should return the woman's portion, but he imposed on the woman, as a mark of infamy, a penalty of four copper coins. Fannia, however, did not on this occasion exhibit the feeling of a woman who had been wronged, but when she saw Marius, far from showing any resentment for the past, she did all that she could for him under the circumstances, and encouraged him. Marius thanked her, and said that he had good hopes, for a favourable omen had occurred to him, which was something of this sort: - When they were leading him along, and he was near the house of Fannia, the doors being opened, an ass ran out to drink from a spring which was flowing hard by: the ass, looking at Marius in the face with a bold and cheerful air, at first stood opposite him, and then making a loud braying, sprang past him frisking with joy. From this, Marius drew a conclusion, as he said that the deity indicated that his safety would come through the sea rather than through the land, for the ass did not betake himself to dry food, but turned from him to the water. Having said this to Fannia, he went to rest alone, bidding her close the door of the apartment.
XXXIX. The magistrates and council of Minturnae, after deliberating, resolved that there ought to be no delay, and that they should put Marius to death. As none of the citizens would undertake to do it, a Gallic or Cimbrian horse-soldier, for the story is told both ways, took a sword and entered the apartment. Now that part of the room in which Marius happened to be lying was not very well lighted, but was in shade, and it is said that the eyes of Marius appeared to the soldier to dart a strong flame, and a loud voice issued from the gloom, "Man, do you dare to kill Caius Marius?" The barbarian immediately took to flight, and throwing the sword down, rushed through the door, calling out, "I cannot kill Caius Marius." This caused a general consternation, which was succeeded by compassion and change of opinion, and self-reproach for having come to so illegal and ungrateful a resolution concerning a man who had saved Italy, and whom it would be a disgrace not to assist. "Let him go, then," it was said, "where he pleases, as an exile, and suffer in some other place whatever fate has reserved for him. And let us pray that the gods visit us not with their anger for ejecting Marius from our city in poverty and rags." Moved by such considerations, all in a body entered the room where Marius was, and getting round him, began to conduct him to the sea. Though every man was eager to furnish something or other, and all were busying themselves, there was a loss of time. The grove of Marica, as it is called, obstructed the passage to the sea, for it was an object of great veneration, and it was a strict rule to carry nothing out of it that had ever been carried in; and now, if they went all round it, there would of necessity be delay: but this difficulty was settled by one of the older men at last calling out, that no road was inaccessible or impassable by which Marius was saved; and he was the first to take some of the things that they were conveying to the ship and to pass through the place.
XL. Everything was soon got ready through these zealous exertions, and a ship was supplied for Marius by one Belaeus, who afterwards caused a painting to be made representing these events, and dedicated it in the temple. Marius embarking, was carried along by the wind, and by chance was taken to the island aenaria, where he found Granius and the rest of his friends, and set sail with them for Libya. As their water failed, they were compelled to touch at Erycina in Sicily. Now the Roman quaestor, who happened to be about these parts on the look-out, was very nearly taking Marius when he landed; and he killed about sixteen of the men who were sent to get water. Marius, hastily embarking and crossing the sea to the island of Meninx, there learnt for the first time that his son had escaped with Cethegus, and that they were going to Iampsas (Hiempsal), king of the Numidians, to ask aid of him. This news encouraged him a little, and he was emboldened to move from the island to the neighbourhood of Carthage. At this time the governor of Libya was Sextilius, a Roman, who had neither received injury nor favour from Marius, and it was expected that he would help him, at least as far as feelings of compassion move a man. But no sooner had Marius landed with a few of his party, than an officer met him, and standing right in front of him said, "The Governor Sextilius forbids you, Marius, to set foot on Libya, and he says that if you do, he will support the decree of the Senate by treating you as an enemy." On hearing this, grief and indignation deprived Marius of utterance, and he was a long time silent, looking fixedly at the officer. Upon the officer asking Marius what he had to say, what reply he had for the governor, he answered with a deep groan, "Tell him you have seen Caius Marius a fugitive sitting on the ruins of Carthage": a reply in which he not unaptly compared the fate of that city and his own changed fortunes. In the meantime, Iampsas, the king of the Numidians, being unresolved which way to act, treated young Marius and his companions with respect, but still detained them on some new pretext whenever they wished to leave; and it was evident that he had no fair object in view in thus deferring their departure. However, an incident happened of no uncommon kind, which brought about their deliverance. The younger Marius was handsome, and one of the king's concubines was grieved to see him in a condition unbefitting his station; and this feeling of compassion was a beginning and motive towards love. At first, however, Marius rejected the woman's proposals, but seeing that there were no other means of escape, and that her conduct proceeded from more serious motives than mere passion, he accepted her proffered favours, and with her aid stole away with his friends and made his escape to his father. After embracing one another, they went along the shore, where they saw some scorpions fighting, which Marius considered to be a bad omen. Accordingly they forthwith embarked in a fishing boat, and passed over to the island Cercina, which was no great distance from the mainland; and it happened that they had only just set sail, when some horsemen despatched by the king were seen riding to the spot where they embarked. Marius thus escaped a danger equal to any that ever threatened him.
XLI. News reached Rome that Sulla was encountering the generals of Mithridates in Boeotia, while the consuls were quarrelling and taking up arms. A battle was fought, in which Octavius got the victory and ejected Cinna, who was attempting to govern by violent means, and he put in Cinna's place as consul Cornelius Merula; but Cinna collected troops in Italy and made war against Octavius. On hearing this, Marius determined to set sail immediately, which he did with some Moorish cavalry that he took from Africa, and some few Italians who had fled there, but the number of both together did not exceed a thousand. Coming to shore at Telamo in Tyrrhenia, and landing there, Marius proclaimed freedom to the slaves; and as the freemen who were employed in agriculture there, and in pasturing cattle, flocked to the sea, attracted by his fame, Marius persuaded the most vigorous of them to join him, and in a few days he had collected a considerable force and manned forty ships. Knowing that Octavius was an honourable man and wished to direct the administration in the justest way, but that Cinna was disliked by Sulla and opposed to the existing constitution, he determined to join him with his force. Accordingly he sent to Cinna and proffered to obey him as consul in everything. Cinna accepted the proposal, and naming Marius proconsul, sent him fasces and the other insigna of the office. Marius, however, observing that such things were not suited to his fortunes, clad in a mean dress, with his hair uncut from the day that he had been an exile, and now above seventy years of age, advanced with slow steps, wishing to make himself an object of compassion; but there was mingled with his abject mien more than his usual terrific expression of countenance, and through his downcast looks he showed that his passion, so far from being humbled, was infuriated by his reverses of fortune.
XLII. As soon as he had embraced Cinna and greeted the soldiers, Marius commenced active operations and gave a great turn to affairs. First of all, by attacking the corn-vessels with his ships and plundering the merchants, he made himself master of the supplies. He next sailed to the maritime cities, which he took; and, finally, Ostia being treacherously surrendered to him, he made plunder of the property that he found there and put to death many of the people, and by blocking up the river he completely cut off his enemies from all supplies by sea. He now moved on with his army towards Rome and occupied the Janiculus. Octavius damaged his own cause, not so much from want of skill as through his scrupulous observance of the law, to which he unwisely sacrificed the public interests; for though many persons advised him to invite the slaves to join him by promising their freedom, he refused to make them members of the State from which he was endeavouring to exclude Marius in obedience to the law. On the arrival at Rome of Metellus, the son of Metellus who had commanded in Libya, and had been banished from the city through the intrigues of Marius, the soldiers deserted Octavius and came to Metellus, entreating him to take the command and save the city; they said, if they had an experienced and active commander, they would fight well and get the victory. But Metellus expressed great dissatisfaction at their conduct, and bade them go to the consul, upon which they passed over to the enemy. Metellus also in despair left the city. and certain diviners and interpreters of the Sibylline books to stay in Rome by the assurance that all would turn out well. Octavius, who in all other matters had as solid a judgment as any Roman, and most carefully maintained the consular dignity free from all undue influence according to the usage of his country and the laws, as if they were unchangeable rules, nevertheless showed great weakness in keeping company with impostors and diviners, rather than with men versed in political and military matters. Now Octavius was dragged down from the Rostra before Marius entered the city, by some persons who where sent forward, and murdered; and it is said that a Chaldaean writing was found in his bosom after he was killed. It seemed to be a very inexplicable circumstance, that of two illustrious commanders, Marius owed his success to not disregarding divination, and Octavius thereby lost his life.
XLIII. Matters being in this state, the Senate met and sent a deputation to Cinna and Marius to invite them into the city and to entreat them to spare the citizens. Cinna, as consul, sitting on his chair of office, gave audience to the commissioners and returned a kind answer: Marius stood by the consul's chair without speaking a word, but indicating by the unchanging heaviness of his brow and his gloomy look that he intended to fill Rome with slaughter. After the audience was over, they marched to the city. Cinna entered accompanied by his guards, but Marius halting at the gates angrily affected to have some scruples about entering. He said he was an exile and was excluded from his country by a law, and if anybody wanted to have him in the city, they must go to the vote again and undo the vote by which he was banished, just as if he were a man who respected the laws and were returning from exile to a free state. Accordingly he summoned the people to the Forum, but before three or four of the tribes had voted, throwing off the mask and setting aside all the talk about being legally recalled, he entered with some guards selected from the slaves who had flocked to him, and who were called Bardiaei. These fellows killed many persons by his express orders and many on the mere signal of his nod; and at last meeting with Ancharius, a senator who had filled the office of praetor, they struck him down with their daggers in the presence of Marius, when they saw that Marius did not salute him. After this whenever he did not salute a man or return his salute, this was a signal for them to massacre him forthwith in the streets, in consequence of which even the friends of Marius were filled with consternation and horror when they approached him. The slaughter was now great, and Cinna's appetite was dulled and he was satisfied with blood; but Marius daily went on with his passion at the highest pitch and thirsting for vengeance, through the whole list of those whom suspected in any degree. And every road and every city was filled with the pursuers, hunting out those who attempted to escape and conceal themselves, and the ties of hospitality and friendship were proved to be no security in misfortune, for they were very few who did not betray those who sought refuge with them. This rendered the conduct of the slaves of Cornutus the more worthy of praise and admiration, for they concealed their master at home, and hanging up by the neck the dead body of some obscure person, and putting a gold ring on his finger, they showed him to the guards of Marius, and then wrapping up the body as if it were their master's, they interred it. The device went unsuspected, and Cornutus being thus secreted by his slaves, made his escape to Gaul.
XLIV. The orator Marcus Antonius found a friend, but still he did not escape. This man, though poor, and of the lower class, received in his house one of the most illustrious of the Romans, and wishing to entertain him as well as he could, he sent a slave to one of the neighbouring wine-shops to get some wine. As the slave was more curious than usual in tasting it, and told the man to give him some better wine, the merchant asked what could he the reason that he did not buy the new wine, as usual, and the ordinary wine, but wanted some of good quality and high price. The slave replied in his simplicity, as he was speaking to an old acquaintance, that his master was entertaining Marcus Antonius, who was concealed at his house. The wine-dealer, a faithless and unprincipled wretch, as soon as the slave left him, hurried off to Marius, who was at supper, and having gained admission, told him that he would betray Marcus Antonius to him. On hearing this, Marius is said to have uttered a loud shout and to have clapped his hands with delight; and he was near getting up and going to the place himself, but his friends stopped him, and he despatched Annius with some soldiers, with orders to bring him the head of Antonius immediately. On reaching the house, Annius waited at the door, and the soldiers mounting the stairs entered the room, but on seeing Antonius, every man began to urge some of his companions and push him forward to do the deed instead of himself. And so powerful were the charm and persuasion of his eloquence, when Antonius began to speak and pray for his life, that not a man of them could venture to lay hands on him or look him in the face, but they all bent their heads down and shed tears. As this caused some delay, Annius went upstairs, where he saw Antonius speaking and the soldiers awed and completely softened by his eloquence; on which he abused them, and running up to Antonius, cut off his head with his own hand. The friends of Catulus Lutatius, who had been joint consul with Marius and with him had triumphed over the Cimbri, interceded for him with Marius, and begged for his life; but the only answer they got was, "He must die!" and accordingly Catulus shut himself up in a room, and lighting a quantity of charcoal, suffocated himself. Headless trunks thrown into the streets and trampled underfoot excited no feeling of compassion, but only a universal shudder and alarm. But the people were most provoked by the licence of the Bardiaei, who murdered fathers of families in their houses, defiled their children, and violated their wives; and they went on plundering and committing violence, till Cinna and Sertorius combining, attacked them when they were asleep in the camp, and transfixed them with spears.
XLV. In the meantime, as if the wind was beginning to turn, reports reached Rome from all quarters that Sulla had finished the war with Mithridates, and recovered the provinces, and was sailing against the city with a large force. This intelligence caused a brief cessation and pause to unspeakable calamities, for Marius and his faction were in expectation of the immediate arrival of their enemies. Now being elected consul for the seventh time, on the very Calends of January, which is the beginning of the year, Marius caused one Sextus Lucinus to be thrown down the Tarpeian rock, which appeared to be a presage of the great misfortunes that were again to befal the partisans of Marius and the State. But Marius was now worn out with labour, and, as it were, drowned with cares, and cowed in his spirit; and the experience of past dangers and toil made him tremble at the thoughts of a new war, and fresh struggles and alarms, and he could not sustain himself when he reflected that now he would have to hazard a contest, not with Octavius or Merula at the head of a tumultuous crowd and seditious rabble, but that Sulla was advancing - Sulla, who had once driven him from Rome, and had now confined Mithridates within the limits of his kingdom of Pontus. With his mind crushed by such reflections, and placing before his eyes his long wanderings and escapes and dangers in his flight by sea and by land, he fell into a state of deep despair, and was troubled with nightly alarms and terrific dreams in which he thought he heard a voice continually calling out,
Dreadful is the lion's lair
Though he is no longer there
As he greatly dreaded wakeful nights, he gave himself up to drinking and intoxication at unseasonable hours and to a degree unsuited to his age, in order to procure sleep, as if he could thus elude his cares. At last when a man arrived with news from the sea, fresh terrors seized him, partly from fear of the future and partly from feeling the burden and the weariness of the present state of affairs; and while he was in this condition, a slight disturbance sufficed to bring on a kind of pleurisy, as the philosopher Poseidonius relates, who also says that he had an interview and talked with him on the subject of his embassy, while Marius was sick. But one Caius Piso, an historian, says that Marius, while walking about with some friends after supper, fell to talking of the incidents of his life, beginning with his boyhood, and after enumerating his many vicissitudes of fortune, he said that no man of sense ought to trust fortune after such reverses; upon which he took leave of his friends, and keeping his bed for seven successive days, thus died. Some say that his ambitious character was most completely disclosed during his illness by his falling into the extravagant delusion that he was conducting the war against Mithridates, and he would then put his body into all kinds of attitudes and movements, as he used to do in battle, and accompany them with loud shouts and frequent cheers. So strong and unconquerable a desire to be engaged in that war had his ambitious and jealous character instilled into him; and therefore, though he had lived to be seventy years of age, and was the first Roman who had been seven times consul and had made himself a family, and wealth enough for several kings, he still bewailed his fortune, and complained of dying before he had attained the fulness and completion of his desires.
XLVI. Now Plato, being at the point of death, congratulated himself on his fortune, first that he was born a human being, then that he was a Greek, and neither a barbarian nor an irrational animal; and besides all this, that his birth had fallen on the time when Socrates lived. And indeed it is said that Antipater of Tarsus, in like manner, just before his death, when recapitulating the happiness that he had enjoyed, did not forget his prosperous voyage from Rome to Athens, inasmuch as he considered every gift of favourable fortune as a thing to be thankful for, and preserved it to the last in his memory, which is to man the best storehouse of good things. But those who have no memory and no sense, let the things that happen ooze away imperceptibly in the course of time; and consequently, as they hold nothing and keep nothing, being always empty of all goodness, but full of expectation, they look to the future and throw away the present. And yet fortune may hinder the future, but the present cannot be taken from a man; nevertheless, such men reject that which fortune now gives, as something foreign, and dream of that which is uncertain: and it is natural that they should; for before reason and education have enabled them to put a foundation and basement under external goods, they get and they heap them together, and are never able to fill the insatiate appetite of their soul. Now Marius died, having held for seventeen days his seventh consulship. And immediately there were great rejoicings in Rome, and good hope that there was a release from a cruel tyranny; but in a few days men found that they had exchanged an old master for a young one who was in the fulness of his vigour; such cruelty and severity did the son of Marius exhibit in putting to death the noblest and best citizens. He gained the reputation of a man of courage, and one who loved danger in his wars against his enemies, and was named a son of Mars: but his acts speedily showed his real character, and he received instead the name of a son of Venus. Finally, being shut up in Praeneste by Sulla, and having in vain tried all ways of saving his life, he killed himself when he saw that the city was captured and all escape was hopeless.
End of Life Of Marius by Plutarch